This global perinatal mental health (PMH) Theory of Change offers a common framework that can guide global PMH thinking, investments, and programming to improve countries’ progress towards widely accessible, high-quality provision of PMH care services. The co-creation of these guiding documents was a critical step in fostering a global community working collaboratively towards a shared vision of better PMH globally.


  • The PMH theory of change (ToC) is anchored in the social ecological model with the individual woman at the center and the added impact of her family, community, the service delivery ecosystem, and society at large as further levels of influence.
  • The PMH ToC offers illustrative evidence-based interventions at the individual, interpersonal relationships, community, service delivery ecosystem, and policy ecosystems levels, linked to outputs, and a shared impact goal of “Improved PMH and wellbeing through promotion, prevention, early identification, care, and treatment, resulting in better health outcomes for all women, children, and families.”
  • The package also offers key considerations in planning PMH interventions, such as ensuring that PMH interventions or integrated into existing care platforms, and that key social determinants are fundamental and intersect with every aspect of the ToC.
  • The package also includes a prioritized set of PMH implementation research questions to support alignment of PMH research agendas.

How to Use

This PMH ToC package can be contextualized to varying priorities, stakeholders, and stages in addressing PMH. It supports a global “call to action” to accelerate improvements in programming for PMH around the world, so that all women might realize the mental and physical health that is their fundamental human right.